Bulgaria Commits to NATO Afghanistan Mission

Defense | April 5, 2009, Sunday // 19:01|  views

Bulgaria’s Defense Minister, Nikolay Tsonev, announced the country was going to send a training and communications team and a military field hospital to Afghanistan as part of the NATO mission in the region. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

Bulgaria will send to Afghanistan a training and communications team as part of the NATO forces in the region.

The news was announced Sunday by Bulgaria's Defense Minister, Nikolay Tsonev, who attended the NATO summit in Strasbourg.

The Minister further said his Ministry was also considering sending a military field hospital to consolidate all country's medical teams in Afghanistan in one location.

The NATO operation in the region is seen as a top priority for the Alliance. At the summit, the US asked NATO members to increase their presence in the region before the August elections.

Bulgaria has 500 rangers in Afghanistan, but currently lacks the possibility to send more military, according to Tsonev, who said the Defense Ministry would rather reconsider Bulgaria's rangers' assignment in Kabul to provide elections' security jointly with other countries.

Starting Monday, the Defense Ministry will begin preparing the training and communications group.

A new deployment of 500 will depart for Kabul in the beginning of September.

The UK committed in Strasbourg into sending additional 900 rangers to the region, while Spain and Germany promised 600 each.


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Tags: NATO, NATO summit, Strasbourg, Afghanistan mission, Nikolay Tsonev, Bulgarian contingent in Afghanistan, Kabul


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